Roboze, an Italian manufacturer of high-temperature extrusion 3D printers, has secured additional investment, including the purchase of a minority stake in the firm by EiM Capital. The move will see EiM Capital’s Managing Director Romain Peugeot join Roboze´s board, while LIMFJORDEN Capital, controlled by Romain Peugeot, also invested alongside EiM.
EiM is a different flavor of money than what we are used to in 3D printing. Not the Monster Energy drink booster juice of venture capital, EiM is a “private markets investment firm,” meaning that it invests in privately traded debt and equity of companies. Private equity firms operate with a longer time frame than many investors and have been known to load target firms with debt. They also pride themselves on their superior management skills and financial operations expertise to turn companies around. It is unclear how active EiM’s role in Roboze will be and if it will push the firm to be radically different or rather be content to sail along as passengers.
“Roboze SpA is at the forefront of 3D printing technology disruption for industrial production. The company has cutting-edge technology and an ambitious roll-out plan for future high-tech products. The acquisition of this minority position will be at the core of our industrial transformation strategy, we are committed to play an active role and support the developments and the growth of the company in the long term,” Romain Peugeot stated.
So far in its portfolio, EiM has invested in companies related to hydraulics company, maintaining public washrooms, precast concrete pressure pipes, and textiles. There’s some overlap with 3D printing there, but we will have to see if there is an overarching strategy at play that will become visible.
“At Roboze, we are redesigning manufacturing and supply chain, moving production back to the point of use, replacing expensive and increasingly rare metals with super polymers and composites that are recyclable at the end of their life cycle. The future requires imminent change in the logic of mass production. We can no longer produce in a delocalized way without caring about waste, transportation, and associated emissions. The new production model must be financially sustainable, both in terms of environment and geopolitics. Producing on demand, just in time and locally lays the foundation for a more sustainable future. Romain Peugeot is a chartered corporate director, strategic thinker, investor, and operator in Private Markets since 2012. We are delighted to have him joining our Advisory Board,” Roboze CEO Alessio Lorusso said.
We can’t yet know if this is a critical situation, in which EiM stepped in to radically alter course, or if this is a more ¨business as usual situation.¨ Although private equity is not foreign to 3D printing. Parcom played a huge role in the industry by staying on board at SLM Solutions for so long. Our industry is maturing. There are a lot of businesses with single owners who are looking for a future and we have mature startups looking to be consolidated. It is logical that private equity investors will be taking more a look at additive manufacturing. It is too early to tell what future impacts they will have on an emerging 3D printing industry.
For Roboze, we also cannot tell what their impact will be. One thing is certain, Romain Peugeot’s connections are second to none. He’s on the board of VanGest, a top notch Portuguese car components suppliers, whose own tooling, mold and fixture needs would be considerable. At the same time, he is on the board of Peugeot Freres. This is, of course the world renowned maker of excellent pepper mills—oh yeah, and a major investor in Stellantis (Peugeot, Fiat, Chrysler), Spie (a very large construction and engineering firm), SEB (a household wares group consisting of All Clad, Tefal, WMF and more). His Rolodex, in and of itself, should therefore be very useful for Roboze.
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